Cacti - T. pachanoi
Citation: Hazzy. "An Awakening of the Subconscious: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi (exp43294)". Erowid.org. Nov 8, 2005. erowid.org/exp/43294
For the preparation, we used a somewhat varied version of mjshroomer's cacti preparation
We had 3, 12' stalks of San Pedro, and we began by de-spining them, using knives to flick out each of the spines and cutting small V shaped cuts into the more stubborn ones, without losing too much of the juicy green layer beneath. After the cacti were completely spine free, we then made cuts length-wise along the grooves, cutting down to the circular core in the middle, then pulling off each segment so we had about 7 long strips for each cactus.
NOTE: We did NOT do step 3 under the linked preparation, as the waxy cuticle (the 'skin'), core, and white layer can not only make you VERY nauseous, but contains little to no mescaline, and will only create extra liquid.
Once the strips were peeled off, we discarded the core, then set to peeling off the waxy cuticle (a clear waxy 'skin' that covers the outside of the cactus). This is the most grueling part of the task, but will help prevent nausea. At first we could only get small pieces of skin off at a time, but after some practice and strategic use of the fingernail (running it under the skin and lengwise down the strip until the whole layer was able to be pulled back and peeled off) we managed to peel the strips. The main issue is that wherever there is a defect or spine hole on the outside, the strip of skin you're carefully peeling off will simply break off...very frustrating...thus the 'cleaner' the cactus is, the easier it'll be to skin.
After the strips were skinned, we used knives to cut off the white layer as close to the green layer as possible, leaving us with long, gooey green strips of cactus material. We then cut the strips into small chunks and threw them into the blender, one batch at a time, along with an equal portion of water, and a few splashes of lemon juice. The citric acid in lemon juice aids in the extraction, and technically (also another preparation method) one could merely blend the cactus with lemon juice and leave it in the fridge for a few days, then skim off the top layer, skipping the boiling process. The reason we both blended with lemon juice AND boiled, was not only because we hoped the boiling would further extract the mescaline (and we didn't have enough time to leave it in a fridge), but also because of the sheer amount of liquid we would have if we didn't boil it. We were already making 3X the normal dosage worth of cactus tea, and we needed to boil off alot of the water. The thought of both carrying that much liquid backpacking and chugging that much liquid was disturbing, to say the least.
SO..we blended each batch up, until the chunks, water, and lemon juice were a foamy green mess. We ended up 3 blenders worth.
After we had all three stalks blended up and stored, we refrigerated them overnight. This would allow the lemon juice to work some magic and the plant material to separate from the liquid.
The next day we looked in on our batches, and no surprise, the material had separated from the liquid, floating on top. You may ask why we didn't just skim off the gunk and bottle the liquid, and this is because there was too much liquid to drink (as I've already said) and because one night is not long enough for the tea to sit (i.e. there was still alot of the good stuff in the plant material).
Thus we threw the batches (both chunk and liquid) into a couple pots, and simmered them over low heat for a few hours. The gunk ended up blending with the liquid again as the tea came to a boil, and slowly, the water began to evaporate. After we had boiled it down a significant amount, we strained it through a shirt, twisting it down and squeezing the ball of gunk until it was nearly squeezed dry.
We then set the strained liquid aside, then threw the ball back into a pot along with more water, simmering it for a couple more hours before straining again, and this time discarding the ball of vegitation goodness. Next we combined the two batches of strained green liquid into a pot, and boiled it down to a consumable amount. Finally we bottled the green liquid, and put 'em in the fridge to await our trip.
Well..our spring break came, but so did bad weather. The first day it poured..the second day it poured..the third and forth..more rain. It began to look like we wouldn't be able to do the trip after all. But, to our great luck, things cleared up in the last few days of break, and at the last minute, we pulled things together and tried to plan a trip that would fill the few remaining days we had. The good news of this was that not only would the hills and woods be lush and green because of the rain, but it would be a full moon on the night of our 'adventure'.
We ended up deciding to attempt the trail to the Ventana Double Cone, one of the biggest mountains in the Ventana Wilderness. The trail would be approximately 30 miles round trip So..we packed up our stuff, threw it in the car, and headed down to Botcher's Gap, a quick drive in from Highway 1..
We hiked as far as possible that first day, deciding that we would drink the tea during the day time rather than the night, as we simply did not know what to expect and didn't want to come close to a bad trip.
We woke up the next day as early as possible (probably around 8 or 9..we didn't bring any watches with us, though it was nice to not be governed by time and rely on the sun) and took a moment to look at the map and calculate our current route. We figured out that we could easily make it to Double Cone by the end of the day...the trouble was, that we would be tripping there until very early in the morning the next day, and then we would have to hike 2 days worth of distance in one, on no sleep. Sadly, we decided that Double Cone would not be do-able, so we figured we'd hike on for a short distance and find a nice place to drink the tea earlier rather than later. Continuing on the path, we eventually came to another cross road, where the path led on along the side of the hill, while a crossing path led up to our right, climbing up and over a ridge. This we explored, moving through a dense thicket of madrones as we climbed, breaking open onto the top of the ridge, walking over the hill and out from under the shade, onto an incredible flat and grassy sunlight vista. Here there was a campsite on the edge of the ridge, looking out over a mountain filled valley and out to the sea.
It was probably around 10-10:30 in the morning, and the sun was still rising, but we knew right away we had a winner...so we hitched our tent back near the edge of the slope we had climbed, and prepared for our trip, scouting out the area. We discovered another campsite to the right, further across the ridge which had a kettle of water and a pile of firewood, where we considered moving to, but it turned out to be surprisingly windier. It seemed that the cool wind moving through the valley only blew on the other side of the mountain, and where we were, only a light breeze flowed through the warm air. It was strange hearing the trees behind us rustling and blowing in a wind we couldn't feel.
After climbing down the ridge in front of us a ways, crawling over rocks and following a few deer paths, we returned to the site and set out our cactus tea and the lemons we'd use to muffle the horrid taste. (I really can't emphasize 'horrid' enough)
We split the 'tea' into three equal portions, and I watched (somewhat nervously) as my buddy managed to gulp down nearly the whole portion. He ended up taking it in two portions, and later (after we ate a bit) throwing up a significant amount, some of which was most likely undigested cactus juice. This, coupled with the fact that he has a higher tolerance than I lead to him having a less intense experience than I (though just as valuable). I looked skeptically at the stuff in the bottle, sniffed it, and took a little sip. Wow...it tastes like sour and extremely bitter artichoke juice! Yum! I plugged my nose, took a huge bite into a lemon slice, and chugged the whole bottle, then bit the lemon again as fast as possible. This really muffled the taste, and the only time I started feeling sick to my stomach was when I burped up the cactus after taste. As my buddy choked down the last of his portion, we secured the third part of the tea into a container, picked up our walking sticks, and headed along the ridge and up onto a higher ridge to our right, which provided us an even better view of the ocean and a view down onto our camp...
Up on this ridge there was a flat area with some grass and rocks, where we settled down and decided to meditate a bit. We sat and let the sun warm us and just listened to the chirp of the birds and the buzz of bugs, and ended up lying down and taking a nap in the morning/early afternoon sun. After a good while (probably an hour-an hour and a half) we stood and tried to figure how well the cactus was kicking in. We both did not feel sober, I personally felt somewhat high and drunk at the same time, but it was definitely a mild feeling. Staring off into the hills we could imagine patterns if we really tried, but we definitely needed more tea. The problem was, there was no way in hell either of us could stomach more of the bitter drink, and in retrospect, we should have each consumed 1 1/2 doses at once..we just had no idea how potent the stuff would be. So, we decided to turn to our familiar friend, Miss Mary Jane, in hopes that she would save our trip (as she has saved others in the past). We rolled up a nice plump J, and sparked that shit, inhaling the pleasant smoke while basking in the sun.
Before I continue on, let me just say this: Thank god (allah, budda, whoever) for marijuana. Yet again she comes through for me and turns a potentially moderate experience into an -amazing- one.
As soon as the J, I felt a startlingly intense and heavy high sink on me, and it felt as if there was a physical weight on my consciousness. I didn't feel tired, it actually felt really good, but it reminded me faintly of one aspect of the salvia high. I sat up and looked around me, and everything seem to become more intense and beautiful, as if the sunlight had intensified as well, making everything more colorful, the sounds much more present and alive, the breeze much more relaxing, and the air much sweeter. In other words, it was like a super-high. I remember looking back and up at the trees waving in the breeze and watching the leaves rustle and shimmer, and thinking it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. The pine needles would wave and flow in the wind, creating a sort of glimmering pattern in the tree. Things like this reminded me of the 'awe' trips when on shrooms, where things look so incredibly beautiful that you can't help but just stare, except that with mescaline, I felt positive 'vibes' from everything around me, and a definite sense of safety and peace among the trees and hills. The heat of the sun felt amazing on my skin...simply amazing...it felt as if the sunlight was wrapping me in its graces and hugging me in warmth, while the breeze running through my hair seemed to calm every atom in my body. (These are some aspects of the trip that support the link of Mescaline to Ecstasy, and the similarities in the highs) At first, it became almost overwhelming at times, and had me laughing and holding my head in my hands while my buddy just sort of watched and chuckled. Eventually I stood and gazed across at the mountains sloping across the valley towards the ocean. This was when I first discovered that unfocusing my eyes on anything would produce amazing results...
It reminded me of being -very- high on weed, where I can close my eyes and zone off, imagining the most detailed and incredible images, almost to the point of 'seeing' closed eyed visuals. The difference in this case was that I could imagine -whatever- I wanted with my eyes open. I could basically manipulate the things my eyes could see into whatever I wanted, staring off into the hills and imagining, extremely vividly, the clumps of trees moving and blending to form letters of my choice in the hill side. I soon started to notice the patterns in everything, especially the shades of green in the trees and in the grasses, and how each shade filled in its portion as a piece in a much larger puzzle. Everything was extremely detailed and patterned, but not in a way that didn't look natural...these patters were already there, but I hadn't noticed their significance until I had opened my mind in this way. It was as if the true beauty of my surroundings was not realized until that very moment. I was definitely in a wonderland of sorts, and I couldn't get over my amazement and the positive beauty of everything.
Suddenly, I looked past the first set of hills and looked beyond, into the sunny haze, and realized that the mountains most -definitely- looked painted. I tried to shake my head and look at them without unfocusing my eyes at all, and they remained just as painted as before. As time wore on, more hills appeared to be just additions to a massive canvas, with green brushstrokes of trees and a dream-like quality to them. I asked my buddy if he saw them as painted, and it didn't seem like it, but I kept asking because I was so amazed by it. Walking around in a painted world can be quite an amazing thing, after all! I looked out to sea and saw a groomed grassy hill with a flag or pole of some sort way off in the distance, and it looked the most painted of all, and reminded me of something, though I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It was as if it was something out of a dream.
Anyways, after a while I decided that I needed some time alone, so I headed down into the valley a short ways, onto a lower ridge right below our camp. As I walked I looked at all the different shades of color among the grasses, and stopped to look at a group of ants walking among the grass and rocks. As I watched them, I thought to myself how this patch of grass and twigs and rocks was their entire world, and how they most likely viewed this world as everything, despite there being so much more land in this world. I then saw the irony in it, and realized how much we humans are similar to ants in this perspective...we view our world (and the reachable planets) as everything there is, and view ourselves as the 'kings' of this world, despite the fact that there is a whole universe out there, with (most likely) beings of higher intelligence and greater power.
I moved on and came across a flat spot that had a large flat square rock on it, surrounded by smaller rocks which formed a sort of small stair up to it. For some reason when I looked at this spot, I felt there was a great significance and importance to it, like it was an ancient alter or spiritual landmark, and I paused to stand on it a moment and examine it closer...after not finding any clues that pointed toward the purpose of the place, I moved further down the hill and sat on a grassy flat portion and stared off at the valley in front of me and the looming mountains.
At this point, my mind went off on a tangent, and I sat there letting my imagination take me where it wanted. I allowed my mind to calm and my eyes to relax, and again I was changing the hills. For further clarification, it wasn't as if I was actually changing the physical structure of the mountains with my mind, but rather I was seeing things -in- the mountains, like staring into a pool of water. Along with the visual 'hallucinations' came audio ones as well; I could hear sounds to go along with whatever my mind was imagining. Thus patterns and images formed among the trees and groves, the world was more beautiful and peaceful than it ever was, and the sunlight was glowing all around me. The sounds of birds and bugs and breeze seemed to form into a perfect symphony of sound and harmony, and it felt as if everything was whole and complete. It's impossible to recall everything I imagined, but I remember at one point I was seeing 4 identical witches forming into a square pattern in the mountain and dancing all together in the same way. With their dance, I could hear a sort of old woman squak in my head, like the witches were yelling out at a key point in their jig, and the pattern repeated itself. I then focused my mind on this noise, and realized that in order for me to hear this sound in my head, I would have had to have heard it somewhere before, as every sound (atleast in my opinion) that one hears in one's head is based off of tones that one has heard in his lifetime.
In this way, I managed to focus my mind on sound, and decided that if I could form any sound I wanted in my head in this way, I could form whatever music I wanted. It's hard to describe how I came to this understanding, but the point is, I closed my eyes and composed an -entire- symphony in my head. This symphony was complete with 3 movements and strings, percussion, brass, woodwinds, and even a few harps. It came to me easier than familiar songs come to me, and flowed on without pause or hesitation. It was a completely unique and original symphony, composed on the spot in my head, and it will never be heard by any ear in any millenia to come. As the final notes floated from my skull and into the sky, I opened my eyes and laughed. I laughed at Beethoven, at Bach, at Handel and Mozart...and I laughed at myself. Human potential was limitless, and there was potential in myself that I had never realized before...
Eventually I climbed back up to our campsite, though it was with great difficulty; it felt like I could have sat at that spot for eons. I wandered around for a while just trying to soak it all in, and after a good while my buddy showed up and we decided we'd hike down the other side of our mountain, into the heavier woods and wind. We walked down under a forest thick full of madrone trees, which are some pretty awesome trees whose bark is a soft light brown and completely smooth, and is always very cold to the touch, even in a scorching hot day.
The ground was sloping downward and was soft, strewn with fallen leaves, and the whole place was somewhat dim, patches of sunlight breaking through every so often and lighting up the ground. A slight breeze moved through and the leaves rustled very softly above us. All the trees were very close together, and we had to find our way through the maze of trunks, that seemed to go off infinitely in every direction. I stepped very carefully, and a feeling came over me that this place was sacred, in some way. It was as if stepping into a completely different world, and it even had the hairs raising on the back of my neck. I layed my hands on the trunks, feeling the cold within pulse against my skin..the sense of life within it was strangely intense..
I couldn't stay there long..the place just seemed too sacred...so we headed back up, and on the way I stopped to look at the incredible detail and patterns in the bark of a nearby tree which was lit in full sunlight. The way it was textured seemed to be the closest to artistic perfection one could ever find, and I stood there moving my eyes across the beautiful bark, before my buddy suggested we move on.
We went up to camp and decided we'd have a bite to eat...well that bite turned into mass amounts of quesadillas and granola bars/corn nuts. I don't think I've ever had munchies hit me harder than they did right then. While I gorged myself as fast as possible, my buddy ended up puking, which could have been another reason he did not trip like I did, as there was probably still some undigested tea in his gut. As for me, I felt relatively fine, and we decided to take an afternoon nap to try and catch up on missed sleep. I lay down and tried to sleep, but my imagination was still running wild, and with my eyes closed, my mind soon slipped off and spiraled into thoughts inspired by the unconscious.
I didn't sleep..but I definitely was not fully conscious...it was more like a day dream, or a meditation...or a trance. I remember my mind eventually running over things I could associate with the inner child..i.e. my parents, family and friends, growing up, and eventually, once again, death. Yet again my mind moved to death, a theme accoring commonly with my experiences with hallucinogens. I believe my mind went over my parents eventually dying, and my own death as well. Thus when I 'awoke', I was no longer feeling positive, but very negative, and the feeling of both sadness and nastalgia came over me. We talked for a good while, the two of us, drinking tea and staring out over the moonlight hills. Eventually I was able to ease my mind somewhat, and crawl into my sleeping bag with a new experience under my belt.
The next day was somewhat uneventful...we hiked back to Botcher's Gap and drove home, feeling good and happy to have had the privaledge of staying in such a peaceful and beautiful environment. It was definitely a spiritual experience for me, and I won't be forgetting it anytime soon. Looking back on some of the beauty there can still bring prickles to the back of my neck....good times!
Mescaline...what a trip! For me, mescaline didn't so much cause hallucinations as it did show me things I simply hadn't noticed before. In a way, it reminded me of the way marijuana has showed me things, and helped me appreciate things. I was overwhelmed by the beauty in Big Sur..it was definitely one of the top 10 things I've experienced in my life time. It allowed my imagination to run free, breaking the bonds of my senses and opening my eyes to the world, yet again. In a way, it was like shrooms in that it was like being born into a whole new world...save for this world was not so drastically altered, but rather intensified. As I said before, it was like a super high.
In contrast to shrooms, I definitely felt seemingly endless positive vibes while on Mescaline. Mescaline is definitely a POSITIVE drug, while shrooms are NEUTRAL. With shrooms, they take an unbiased stance, altering your world and allowing you to take it where you want it, whether that be a good experience, or a bad one. Mescaline, on the other hand, feels far more safe and secure, and feelings of love and comfort come to mind as well. I definitely want to try it again, though perhaps I can find a less putrid method of intake. Mescalina has treated me well, and I hope to meet her again soon...
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